Highlights

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo Museum of Science reopens Kellogg Observatory, ending capital campaign

An observatory closed to the general public since 1999 will once again be available to local science buffs and curious novices alike. The Buffalo Museum of Science on Friday hosted a ceremony marking the re-opening of the Kellogg Observatory atop its building.

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Buffalo, NY – Roswell Park Cancer Institute says its effort to recruit clinical and scientific talent for its research center was a big success.

Dr. David Hohn, president and CEO of Roswell Park, introduced more than 40 new physicians, scientists and senior staffers recently hired. Hohn says they've come from other countries, Japan and United Kingdom, as well as from California, Texas, Boston and Maine.

"With funding, an excellent facility and a talented staff, this kind of recruitment can be done in Buffalo," Hohn said.

Amherst, NY – The landmark $26.5 billion dollar education bill was signed into law Tuesday by President Bush. And U.S. Congressman Tom Reynolds took the opportunity to explain the new law to a group of government honors students yesterday at Amherst Central High School. But if the congressman had been graded on his presentation he might have received an incomplete.

Albany, NY – Governor George Pataki says New York will rebuild -- and it will succeed -- in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Pataki delivered his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature Wednesday. He recognized emergency personnel for their bravery in responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center. The governor then outlined a series of initiatives for the coming year.

Albany, NY – Money spent on research at colleges and universities in New York has reached record levels. State officials reported Tuesday that research spending in 2000 approached $2.3 billion.

The numbers for 2000 were put together by NYSTAR -- the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research. Cornell University spent the most on research -- more than $410 million. The University at Buffalo placed fourth on the list at nearly $187.7 million. NYSTAR spokesman Jim Denn says the increase is significant.

Buffalo, NY – Top State Assembly members heard from Buffalo Niagara business and economic development leaders about the area's economy Monday.

The Assembly is holding a series of hearings to find ways to improve the upstate economy. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Tonawanda is chairing the hearings. The first one held in Buffalo. Schimminger began the hearing by reciting the area's lagging employment numbers and wage rates and a declining population.

Cheektowaga, NY – There may be help for small businesses in Erie County that suffered damage from December's snow storm. Congressman Jack Quinn says he's seeking Small Business Administration assistance.

"My whole life is in this garage. I can't even fathom how much it would cost to put it back together again," John Drysdale, owner of the Airport Truck and Rental Center on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga, said.

Buffalo, NY – There has been a total change in leadership at the Erie County Legislature.

A weighted vote system, imposed by a federal court, has shifted the majority over to seven Republicans within the County Legislature. Democrat Albert DeBenedetti, who has often sided with the Republicans, defeated Democrat Lynn Marinelli for the chairmanship seat because of the new system. He replaces Charles Swanick. Swanick say the court order was issued on an interim basis and believes there will be a chance to challenge the decision.

Buffalo, NY – My family and I are definitely what you would call pro Buffalo. We think the city is great and has so much to offer. There’s just one problem; we live in the suburbs. We moved out of the city almost as if by accident some thirteen years ago. Call it the fault of mid-80s real estate, but by the time we had found our perfect house after two years of searching in Buffalo, the house just happened to be in the suburbs. We’ve been checking the home finder for Buffalo real estate every Saturday ever since our move.

Buffalo, NY – Four more Buffalo schools have been placed on the state's School Under Registration Review -- or SURR -- list. They are Schools 38 and 53 and Burgard and Kensington High Schools.

Schools placed on the SURR list are furthest from state standards in math or English. At the four Buffalo schools, all were cited for poor student performance in math exams. Kensington was also cited for a high drop-out rate.

Albany, NY – Governor George Pataki Tuesday announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved his request to expand federal snow emergency assistance for Erie and Niagara counties to help pay the costs of dealing with the recent severe snowstorms that hit the region.

FEMA has granted the Governor's request to extend the time period allowed for reimbursement of snow removal operations and critical emergency needs from 48 hours to 120 hours and to lift the $5 million funding cap.

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WBFO wins AP's Outstanding News Operation in Radio for fifth straight year

WBFO earned nine first-place awards at the New York State Associated Press Association awards banquet on Saturday – more than any other radio or television station in the state.

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As immigration issues along the US southern border continue to roil the country, one driving force of migration from troubled Central American countries has received relatively little notice: climate change.

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Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Heritage Moments

Buffalo History Museum

Heritage Moments: Stanley Spisiak, LBJ and a bucket of Buffalo River sludge

It’s the early 1960s, and you’re summering at Crystal Beach. You walk across the sands to take a dip in the warm waves of Lake Erie. But before you get to the water, you’ve got to step gingerly through a dozen yards of dead fish, a solid mass of rotting flesh washed up on the sand amid swarms of flies, already stinking in the morning sun.

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